SKHS Principal's Newsletter

Robert Mezzanotte April, 2016

From the Desk of Mr. Mezzanotte

Spring has arrived and we are ready to enter the final quarter of the year at South Kingstown High School! The year is flying by, and we have busy days ahead as we proceed towards our senior events and graduation. I'd like to take this opportunity, however, to pause and reflect on some incredible accomplishments from this past quarter. South Kingstown High School students demonstrated their unique and exceptional talents in so many ways. I am continuously amazed by the spirit and pride of our student body. South Kingstown High School students are hard-working, responsible, inquisitive learners who stretch their learning and embrace the rigorous expectations of our school. Furthermore, our students express themselves and their interests through a variety of extracurricular clubs and activities. This newsletter will highlight some of these examples. Enjoy!

As always, please email me with any questions at

SKPades Class of 2017

South Kingstown High School's oldest and richest tradition, SKPades, was hosted by the Class of 2017 on March 11th and 12th. The show's theme this year was Harry Potter, and it was a huge success. Students performed in front of a substantial crowd of parents, students and friends over the two nights. Rehearsals were held for months in preparation of the show, and students displayed their talent and creativity in the different skits and videos as they parodied various humorous aspects of our school. Under the leadership of teachers Andi Kenyon, Mary Kutcher, Daniel Gagnon and Katy Thomas, the students arranged a show that was enjoyed by all in attendance. What was most impressive, however, was the collaboration and teamwork of our students. The junior class demonstrated their incredible skills in putting together a show of very high quality in a short amount of time, while also balancing their many other responsibilities. SKPades truly brings out the spirit of our school, and I was incredibly proud of the final product created by our students.

The photos below are courtesy of Daniel Gagnon.

Rebel Athletics

South Kingstown High School student-athletes continued to distinguish themselves as some of the best in Rhode Island. Here are some highlights from this year:

  • The Girls Basketball team advanced to the finals of the RI State Tournament, where they fell in a tightly-contested game to Lasalle Academy.
  • Senior Celia Tomlinson scored the 1,000th point of her career
  • Tomlinson also was recognized as the Gatorade Player of the Year in girls basketball for the state of Rhode Island
  • Junior Anthony Shepard was the state champion in the long jump
  • Senior Mason Durand was a state wrestling finalist in the 152-pound weight class
  • Senior Sabrina Nuttall was the state swimming champion in the 110-yard breaststroke
  • Amanda Varone was named the 2015 Division 1 Basketball Coach of the Year

The following SKHS students were recognized as All-State athletes:

  • Anthony Shepard, Terrell Handley- Football (First Team)
  • Zack Misto- Soccer (First Team), Colin Gulla, Tate Fenton (Second Team)
  • Ellie Lawler- Cross Country (First Team and Gatorade Player of the Year)
  • Maddie West- Girls Soccer (Second Team)
  • Anthony Shepard- Indoor Track (First Team)
  • Celia Tomlinson- Girls Basketball (First Team and Gatorade Player of the Year)
  • Sabrina Nuttall- Girls Swimming (First Team)

Photos below are courtesy of Daniel Gagnon.

SKHS Music

On March 30 & 31, the SKHS Music Department hosted our Spring Jazz and Classical Concerts. Both nights were tremendously successful and entertaining, bringing pride to the parents, students, and teachers alike.

On April 6, the high school hosted South Kingstown's Annual "Spring String Fling" and it was a huge success. Over 200 musicians grades 4-12 performed by school for a packed house, leading up to a combined grand finale. After weeks of Spring concerts in each of the district's buildings, this was a great peak, celebrating South Kingstown's music programs, specifically string program which we are one of the few districts lucky enough to have 4-12. Congrats to all!
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Senior Portfolio Presentations

In February, 82% of the senior class presented their portfolios to teacher committees. This is the highest percentage of presentations completed during the winter date since the inception of the portfolio. The senior class is a strong group of students and the remaining students will be presenting their portfolios in June in order to complete their graduation requirement.

Rotary Club Students of the Month

Zachary Neighbors and Patrick O'Hara were recent recognized as the Rotary Club Students of the Month. They both attended the Rotary Club luncheons this spring.

This award is given to a deserving student attending Narragansett High School, The Prout School, and South Kingstown High School. Recognized students are presented to the club members during lunch and presented with a $100 Staples gift card and a Rotary certificate. The criteria for this award includes making significant contributions in community service and/or having significant improvement in attitude, cooperation, participation, or any other area deemed important to the teacher, guidance counselor, or other school personnel making the nomination. Congratulations to these two highly-deserving young men!


Congratulations to Advanced Placement art student Kyle Palma. Kyle was awarded the Grand Prize award of $2,500 for his drawings from the Wickford Art Association. Many of his beautifully detailed pencil drawings are of his friends skating at Old Mountain Field. He plans to go to art school and design skateboards.

Also, Nicole Gennari's drawing was entered in the national VFW Young American Patriotic Award contest. Winners will be reveled in May. Good Luck, Nicole!

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Learning at SKHS...

In conjunction with a unit on fables, myths, and fairy tales, students in Mrs. Josephson’s Creative Writing course met with Mrs. Dolan’s first grade class at Peace Dale Elementary school. The seniors brought surveys and gathered information to use in the creation of personalized children’s books. During the writing process, seniors utilized Story Jumper, an online book creation site, and both the seniors and the first graders are looking forward to the presentation day on April 29th, when the seniors will once again meet with Mrs. Dolan’s students to read their books. Digital book copies will also be sent home for the children to enjoy. A special thank you to Michaela Pantaleo, our technology coach, for her help with this project.
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Learning at SKHS...

These students were selected from the high school science fair to attend the state science fair. In first image from left to right are Neelam Ahmed (1st place), Sarah LeClair (3rd place, special award), Ryan Doyle (2nd place), Matt Kutcher (3rd place) and Hossam Zaki (2nd place). Pictured in second image from left to right, Christian Rodriquez-Gervais, (2nd place), Ryan Doyle, Alyssa Bader (3rd place), Christopher Nadeau (3rd place), Danielle Robinson (2nd place) and Sarah Hackey (2nd place). Will Gardner, not pictured, received 3rd place.
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SKHS Student Awarded by Daughters of the American Revolution

Senior Rieley Auger was recognized on Saturday, April 2, 2016 during the Daughters of the American Revolution annual state-wide meeting at the Richmond Country Club. Rieley was nominated by faculty and peers to represent SKHS in the annual DAR Good Citizens Award and Scholarship Contest.

The DAR Good Citizens program encourages and rewards the qualities of good citizenship among high school seniors: dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism. The participating students had to fill out a lengthy application describing how they have tried to manifest the qualities of a good citizen and submit 2 letters of recommendation and academic transcript. Additionally, under the supervision of a faculty member, the student was required to write an impromptu essay within a 2-hour time limit without assistance or reference materials. The essay topic for this year was: “Our American Heritage and Our Responsibility for Preserving It: Of Our American Rights and Freedoms, Which One Would You Choose to Celebrate and Why?” Rieley placed second of the 14 students who participated. In addition to her well written response, the selection committee noted that the following activities and accomplishments earned Rieley the award: She is captain of the Varsity Girls Lacrosse team, Vice President of the Student Council, a Debate Team and National Honor Society member, the recipient of the Herbert and Claiborne Pell Medal for Excellence in AP US History and has performed various acts of community service.

Rieley plans to study political science as an undergraduate student, continue her education at law school and eventually work in government or within the United Nations. Rieley is the daughter of Stacey and Dina Auger of West Kingston.

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SKHS Students Volunteering in the Community

Pictured below are SKHS students Haylea and Hannah Loftes, who have been doing great local volunteer work. For the last 2 summers, Haylea and Hannah have helped hand out medals at the Special Olympics Summer Games and also are described as "great cheerleaders and high-fivers"! They also have helped with the VFW Post 916 annual gift drive for shut-in veterans at nursing homes or in private residences. Last year gifts were raised for 85 veterans, and Haylea and Hannah made thoughtful cards for each and every one. Every card was different and personally signed by them. Thank you to Haylea and Hannah for their exceptional effort and compassion!
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SKHS Academic Decathaletes

The Academic Decathlon is a team-based competition where students match their intellect with students from other schools. Students compete in divisions based on their GPA—A (Honors), B (Scholastic) and C (Varsity) across 10 categories: Art, Economics, Essay, Interview, Language and Literature, Mathematics, Music, Science, Social Science and Speech. Awards are given in each academic category and division, recognizing individual and team achievement.

At our annual competition on March 20, 2016, the South Kingstown High School team, coached by Christine Mohan and Eileen Gannon, placed 6th (out of 19 teams). The following students won individual medals:

Isobel McCullough, Grade 11, Bronze for Essay (Scholastic Division)

Anthony Diebold, Grade 12, Bronze for Social Science, Gold for Top Scorer on Team (Honors Division)

Matthew McGovern, Grade 11, Silver for Science, Bronze for Social Science (Scholastic Division)

Congratulations to all of the students who participated in the Academic Decathlon!

SKHS Debate Team

The following members of SKHS's debate team (pictured below) qualified for the state tournament on February 27th:

Daniel Glickman
Phoebe McCaffrey
Kara Waldheger
Sarah Leclair
Ben Trager
Eli O'Brien
Lilian Hogan

Both Ben Trager and Kara Waldheger received speaker awards for placing in the top 20. Congratulations to all students!

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SKPP Update

The South Kingstown Partnership for Prevention has had a busy few months. Students have been involved in numerous events in and out of school. In January SKPP hosted a school-wide event using the Kahoot trivia game. Advisories could compete against each other to answer facts related to various substances. In February, six SKHS students attended the National Youth Leadership Initiative in Washington DC. These students had the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill and speak to various Senators and Representatives on substance-related prevention issues. SKPP students participated in MADD’S Mocktail Event, honoring our school's victim, Joe Strauss. Finally, SKPP partnered with Mrs. Murphy and Mrs. Bush of the Health and PE department to host a Freshman Health Fair, where students created various interactive games to highlight substance use, misuse and abuse. Over 350 students participated in the games and activities.

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